LONDON, April 15, 2008 – The
Mayor of London has refused to contribute to the funding of the 2008
International Gay & Lesbian Football Association World Championship, which
is being held in London in August.
Ken Livingstone has also refused to
sign a letter of support for the IGLFAWC’s grant application to the lottery
fund. Having the high-profile support of the Mayor would increase the
likelihood of the grant succeeding. The Mayor refutes the claim.
The unexpected lack of financial
support from the Mayor has contributed to the IGLFAWC being left with a
While the organisers need to raise
another £30,000 to cover their costs, there is no fear that the event will
not go ahead, a IGLFAWC spokesperson said.
Peter Tatchell of Outrage!
described as “scandalous” the lack of any funding or support from City Hall.
“Ken Livingstone is organising
billions of pounds for corporate mega events like the 2012 Olympics but
can’t give a few thousand pounds to help host the gay football world
championship,” said Peter Tatchell of the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!
“London is has won the honour of
being the host city, yet the Mayor is refusing to support the event in any
way. He’s giving no funding and won’t sign a letter of support for the
“The UK’s Stonewall Football Club
has previously won the gay world championship, and is a strong contender to
win the title this year. It is a great shame that the Mayor is not backing
“"The gay community is being taken
for granted and short-changed by the Mayor. Huge grants are being doled out
to other communities but the gay community is getting very little.
“Mr Livingstone's refusal to fund
the IGLFAWC comes on top of his less generous funding of Pride London,
compared to his much larger funding of the St Patrick Day's Parade and the
anti-racist Rise music festival.
“Both St Patrick’s Day and Rise
deserve Mayoral support, but Pride London also deserves similar levels of
financial backing,” Mr. Tatchell concluded.
Responding, Mr. Livingtone said that he was
“a strong supporter” of Leftfooters FC’s bid to
bring the competition to London.
“My office have been involved in detailed
discussions supporting the bid project from the very outset, and I provided
a message of support for the successful bid. Officers gave the bid advice
and support on the approach to funding, and also invited the organisers to
submit a proposal for project support funding from City Hall, but this offer
does not appear to have been taken up so far,” he
London 2008 is being held between
August 24 and 30, with matches being played in Regents Park.
Over 30 teams, both men's and
women's, from across the world
have so far signed up for the London competition.
They include: Bent…Like Beckham
(USA), Birmingham Blaze FC (ENG), Boston Strikers Soccer Club (USA), GFC
Bournemouth (ENG), Camden Town FC (ENG), DC Feds (USA), Dublin Devils FC
(IRE), East Midlands (ENG), Florida Storm Soccer (USA), Freedom GLADS (ENG),
Hackney WFC (ENG), Hogtown Nasty Pigs (CAN), HotScots FC (SCO), Jet City
Strikers (USA), Leftfooters FC (ENG), London Leftovers (ENG), Leftfooters
Allstars (ENG), London Titans (ENG), New York Ramblers (USA), Pan Fodbold
(DEN), Philadelphia Falcons (USA), Royal Canadians (CAN), Samurai Japan
(JAP), San Francisco Spikes (USA), Seattle Kobra Kai (USA), St Styrmir
(ICE), Styrmir 2 (ICE), Stonewall Lions (ENG), Stonewall Apprentices (ENG),
Sydney Rangers FC (AUS), Toronto Titans (CAN) and Yorkshire Terriers (ENG).
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Posted:15 April 2008 at
14:00 (UK time)
Updated April 16 with Mayor’s